Our Adventures

Have you been paying too much tax (in Jamaica)?

Here is how you can work it out and submit a Tax Return and get yo money back!

Disclaimer: This information is meant to be a guide to help you better understand your Tax Rights. It is not an official Jamaican Government document. Please see the Official Jamaican Tax Website or the Tax Act more information.

  1. Collect all your payslips
    1. Make sure your payslips have your tax deductions on them.
    2. If you lost them or did not receive them – ask your employer – they will have your records and would provide you with a P24 Form for every year you have worked with them. Skip to #4 if you have all your P24 forms. (A P24 Form is a summary of your salary and tax deducted for a particular year)
  2. Sort your payslips by year (example: Jan- Dec 2016, Jan-Dec 2015, Jan-Dec 2014 etc).
    1. Don’t go further than 6 years from today because you would not be able to file for a refund past 6 years.
  3. Add up your Gross Salary (your salary before deductions) for each year
    1. Jan 2016 Gross Salary + Feb 2016 Gross Salary + Mar 2016 Gross Salary +…Dec 2016 Gross Salary
  4. If your Gross Salary per year was less than the following figures* AND you paid tax – you can file a Tax return to get a refund!
    1. In 2016 if your Gross Salary for the year was less than $796,536 JMD
    2. In 2015 if your Gross Salary for the year was less than $557,232 JMD
    3. In 2o14 & 2013 if your Gross Salary for each year was less than $507,312 JMD
    4. In 2012, 2011, & 2010 if your Gross Salary for each year was less than $441,168 JMD

CONGRATS!!! You can file your Tax Return and get a refund!

*These figures are for people under 55 and were acquired from: Income Tax Rates, Thresholds and Exemptions 2003-2017

HOLD ON! If you cannot get a refund from above – read below. There is another simple-ish check you can do to see if you are owed a refund.

  • First determine your taxable salary for the year. Do this by subtracting the non-taxable allowance (figures in item 4 above) from your Gross Salary per year. Example:

Gross Salary for 2016 = $1,000,000 JMD.

Your taxable salary 2016 is: 1,000,000-796,536= 203,464

  • Then calculate how much tax was due for the year which is 25% of your taxable salary. Do this by multiplying your taxable salary by .25

Taxable salary for 2016 = 203,464

Your tax due for 2016 is: 203,464*.25= 50,866.

  • Then look at your payslips for 2016 and add the PAYE (aka Income Tax) that was deducted from each of your payslips for the year.
  • If the amount deducted from your salary for PAYE (aka Income Tax) is more than the tax due then

CONGRATS!!! You have paid too much tax and can submit a Tax Return for 2016.

  • Follow the instructions for each year to figure out if you paid too much tax for any other years.

See a FAQ here for a few more exemptions, how to submit your returns and other information.

Happy Taxing!!!! 

Disclaimer: This information is meant to be a guide to help you better understand your Tax Rights. It is not an official Jamaican Government document. Please see the Official Jamaican Tax Website or the Tax Act more information.


Experience the SO((U))L HQ

Sometimes you just need a break. In a beauti-filled place. With people who understand. With time to be alone. To figure things out.

The SO((U))L HQ in Stony Hill, St. Andrew, Jamaica can be that space.

I came to the HQ in August 2016 as part of an impromptu exchange that happened between myself and Afifa (co-founder of the HQ); Afifa came to Trinidad and explored Trinidad and herself and I have now come to Jamaica to do the same. Because we both benefited greatly from this exchange we felt others might as well and invite you to find out more. Just email us at thesoulhqja@gmail.com  or check out our  blog and instagram feed.


What exactly happens at the HQ?

Magic. Basically.

When I first came to the HQ I slept for about two weeks straight. I woke up late. Ate. Took a nap. Woke up and Ate. Took another nap. Woke up and Ate. Then went to sleep for the night. While I was awake I had a number of auhmazing conversations about endless possibilities and alternatives to everything you could possibly imagine with Afifa, Zanj and Roho (the core of the HQ community). No one pressured me to cook, clean, or do anything (except to eat…that was a non-negotiable). They only wanted to make sure I was alright. Once I was ok they left me to either sleep or do whatever it was I wanted to do. Later I began exploring, creating, helping more and sleeping less but it would not have been done with the same energy if I didn’t get the space to re-calibrate and flow into my own riddim.

The HQ has provided the right amount of support and resource for me to free and untangle myself which has been one of the scariest but most fulfilling decision I have made in my life. I have been able to process and unpack some of my baggage, start my own radio program, start my own blog, and actively work on designing the life I want to live.It has definitely marked a turning point and I am forever great-filled for the experience. So much so, I have become a permanent part of the community 🙂 !!!!

There are a gazillion more things I can share about my experience – I’ll make a few more posts and add some pictures – but for you to really understand you just need to come. Fur real fur real.

Kingston Reflections

Original Post (with pictures) by Reuben

I’m back in Detroit after a trip to the east, having made stops in NYC, Massachusetts, and Kingston, Jamaica. I traveled with members of BAMU Detroit and WOAH Collective, to continue an artists’ exchange with our contact Afifa Aza. We first met Afifa when she traveled to Detroit to present as part of the Black Survival Mixtape at the Allied Media Conference, resulting in a magical event at O.N.E. Mile, which she titled “Leap Of Faith Into The Multiverse“. Afifa operates two collective spaces in Kingston: SO((U))L HQ, and Di Institute for Social Leadership. Our first stop was SO((U))L HQ, where ZANJ RADIO is broadcast. HQ is a beautiful space up in the mountains. We met Zanj and Isabel who, with Afifa, program the radio station. I presented the crew with their very own set of Octahedron speakers, as QUADRIVIA couldn’t have had the impact that it does without Afifa’s early support.

I interviewed with DJ Zanj Rracc on his show World Music Fusion, which you can listen to here. We discussed African music technologies of the past/present/future, the pivotal roles of Jamaica and Detroit in the innovation of Black electronic music, how the pyramids in Egypt are actually octahedrons, how frequency + vibration are intrinsic properties not just of sound, but shape, color, and material as well, and how broadcasts travel infinitely through space, a form of communion with ancestors.

Our second stop was Di Institute for Social Leadership, which is located more centrally in the city of Kingston. We linked with Afifa and Isabel there. We brought paint, they invited some local youth, and we improvised a collaborative mural on the spot. I’m extremely grateful to Afifa and the crew down at SO((U))L HQ for hosting BAMU and WOAH, for allowing my speakers to live internationally, and coordinating the mural. We are looking forward to future collaborations! Check out the gallery below for photos.